I conducted the funeral of a friend’s mother last week. Kay was what we Scots call a ‘douce’ lady. She was retiring by nature, very sweet and kind, although she had a bit of a wild side too: she loved dancing to blues music and the Rolling Stones! She spent her last couple of years … Continue Reading
I know it sounds odd, but it’s not often I’m asked to conduct a funeral for a humanist. Lots of people want a humanist ceremony, but what they really want is, “something that’s not religious where we can talk about the person that we love”. We did that for Leslie too: his son Ian delivered a … Continue Reading
Sounds wrong doesn’t it? It’s just not done. But I think it should be. Katische Haberfeld is a photographer and advocate of ‘death literacy’ and she wrote a good piece in the Huffington Post that sets out her argument. You can read it here
For some time now, the media has predicted that 2015 would be the year that humanist weddings became more popular than religious weddings. The Registrar General of Scotland recently published their annual statistics, which show that to be the case. Today’s edition of Christian Today says “Humanist weddings outstrip Church of Scotland weddings for the … Continue Reading
I’ve got a lot of time for the Reverend Giles Fraser, or ‘The Loose Canon’ as he calls himself, but I was surprised to read his most recent article in The Guardian, in which he used Cilla Black’s funeral to say that in secular funerals, “the so-called lie about God is commonly replaced by another sort … Continue Reading
This is a rather splendid and life-affirming piece by Jon Kelly for BBC News on the transformation that has happened in the way that we celebrate life in this country, and it looks around the world for other cultures where a less formal approach is taken. I loved this coffin from Ghana!
At Jewish funerals, the traditional greeting to mourners is “I wish you a long life”. I can see where they’re coming from, but a long life is not always a blessing.Here in Britain, one in five 80 year olds already suffers from dementia. The Alzheimer’s Society has just published a report which suggests that if current trends continue, we … Continue Reading
It’s easy to forget that our lives are getting longer. The average life expectancy when I was born in the 1950’s was 65: now men can expect to live to 78 and women a further four years, to 82. And most deaths come at the end of a long life: they may be sad, they may come … Continue Reading
I’m not often asked to conduct memorial ceremonies, which is a shame because when they’re like Evelyn’s, they’re truly wonderful. Evelyn chose to donate her body to medical science, so the family invited literally hundreds of friends to join them at The Cornhill Hotel near Biggar, where I, her brother Gordon, her son Gordon and … Continue Reading
Keren and Stephen’s friends Paul and Fiona set them up on a blind date not once, but twice!